The Council of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) unanimously reappointed Prof Njabulo S Ndebele as the Chancellor of the University for a second five-year term as of the 1st of October 2017.
The reappointment was also supported by UJ’s Senate and the Institutional Forum.
In 2012, Prof Ndebele succeeded Ms Wendy Luhabe, well-known businesswoman and entrepreneur, who served as the University’s first Chancellor from 2006.
The reappointment of Prof Ndebele comes at an opportune time to compliment the strategic direction of the institution. Since its establishment, UJ has made its mark on the research front with admirable research outputs and continues to make notable breakthroughs in a number of fields. UJ has also positioned itself as an important player in the higher education arena, both locally and internationally.
As a prominent academic, Prof Ndebele served as the Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cape Town from June 2000 to June 2008. He also served (from 1993-1998) as Vice-Chancellor of the University of the North (now merged into the University of Limpopo) and, previously, as Vice-Rector of the University of the Western Cape. Earlier positions include Chair of the South African Universities Vice-Chancellor’s Association (2002-2005); Chair of the Department of African Literature at the University of the Witwatersrand; and Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Dean, and Head of the English Department at the National University of Lesotho.
Prof Ndebele obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude in English and Philosophy from the former University of Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland (UBLS); a Master’s degree in English Literature from Cambridge University, and a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Denver in the United States. He has been awarded a number of honorary doctorates in Literature from universities in the UK, USA, The Netherlands, Japan, and South Africa.
An established author, Prof Ndebele’s work has been published in literary and scholarly journals and anthologies in South Africa, the United States and Europe. His innovative novel, The Cry of Winnie Mandela was published to critical acclaim. An earlier publication, Fools and Other Stories won the Noma Award, Africa’s highest literary award for the best book published on the continent in 1984. He is known as a thoughtful commentator on a range of contemporary public issues in South Africa as reflected in two books of essays: Rediscovery of the Ordinary and Fine Lines from the Box.
In addition to sitting as a trustee on several boards, he has done public service in South Africa in the areas of broadcasting policy and as chair of government commissions into the school curriculum in history, the development and use of African languages as media of instruction in South African higher education.